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Minimize Holiday Stress to Spend Less

Posted in: Money Management

At first glance, it may be hard to see the relationship between holiday stress and your spending. But the connection is definitely there. The pressure to do it all and do it well during the holidays can leave us feeling like worn-out underachievers. We think that spending on that one extra gift or blowing the budget on a last-minute bash will make this the “perfect” holiday season.

The truth is, there’s no such thing. Everyone has a different idea of what the holidays should be and we all have the freedom to celebrate exactly as we wish.

The following tips will help you minimize holiday stress and get more enjoyment out of spending the holidays with friends and family.Can't Afford Christmaw

Plan Ahead & Use Lists – Waiting until the last minute is a sure recipe for holiday stress and overspending. Whether it’s planning a get-together, buying gifts, or making holiday treats, you’ll feel better and spend less when you plan ahead. Making lists and checking off items as you complete them will give you a feeling of accomplishment and control.

Learn to Say “No” – There are only so many hours in a day, and we can only be in one place at a time. Learning to graciously decline invitations or requests for help will help you save your sanity, keep you from spending on things you didn’t plan for, and carve out much-needed time for rejuvenation. When it comes to minimizing holiday stress, the magic word is “No.”

Take 15 – Speaking of rejuvenation, taking 15 minutes a day just for you can go a long way toward beating holiday stress. Find a quiet spot (if possible), light a candle, put your feet up and let your mind wander. If you can’t find quiet inside, head outdoors. Take a quick walk around the neighborhood to look at holiday lights or stare at the stars. You’ll get the added stress-beating benefits of physical activity. Even if you get this short break just a few times a week, you’ll feel much better for it. It’s a free gift you can give yourself!

Maintain Healthy Habits – Late nights and a steady diet of rich foods, sweets and cocktails can leave you feeling sluggish and regretful. Counteract the effects of holiday indulgence by drinking plenty of water, incorporating fruits and veggies in the mix and adding a little more physical activity to your day – even if it’s just an extra lap around the mall. It’s an easy way to get the energy boost you need – and a better choice than more caffeine.

Be Thankful – With so much of the holidays focused on giving and receiving gifts, it’s easy to lose sight of what we already have. Cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” by remembering all the things you have to be thankful for, and helping others see the same. Volunteer a few hours to an organization you respect or take that time to help an elderly friend, neighbor or family member. It’s guaranteed they’ll think your time is the most precious gift of all.